Desire Spiritual Gifts
1 Corinthians 14
1You should seek after love, and you should truly want to have the spiritual
gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. 2I will explain why. Those who have the
gift of speaking in different languages are not speaking to people; they are
speaking to God. No one understands them; they are speaking secret things
through the Spirit. 3But those who prophesy are speaking to people to give them
strength, encouragement, and comfort. 4The ones who speak in different
languages are helping only themselves, but those who prophesy are helping the
whole church. 5I wish all of you had the gift of speaking in different kinds of
languages, but more, I wish you would prophesy. Those who prophesy are
greater than those who can only speak in different languages—unless someone is
there who can explain what is said so that the whole church can be helped.
6Brothers and sisters, will it help you if I come to you speaking in different
languages? No! It will help you only if I bring you a new truth or some new
knowledge, or prophecy, or teaching. 7It is the same as with lifeless things that
make sounds—like a flute or a harp. If they do not make clear musical notes, you
will not know what is being played. 8And in a war, if the trumpet does not give a
clear sound, who will prepare for battle? 9It is the same with you. Unless you
speak clearly with your tongue, no one can understand what you are saying. You
will be talking into the air! 10It may be true that there are all kinds of sounds in
the world, and none is without meaning. 11But unless I understand the meaning of
what someone says to me, I will be a foreigner to him, and he will be a foreigner
to me. 12It is the same with you. Since you want spiritual gifts very much, seek
most of all to have the gifts that help the church grow stronger.
13The one who has the gift of speaking in a different language should pray for
the gift to interpret what is spoken. 14If I pray in a different language, my spirit is
praying, but my mind does nothing. 15So what should I do? I will pray with my
spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing with my spirit, but I will also
sing with my mind. 16If you praise God with your spirit, those persons there
without understanding cannot say amen to your prayer of thanks, because they
do not know what you are saying. 17You may be thanking God in a good way, but
the other person is not helped.
18I thank God that I speak in different kinds of languages more than all of
you. 19But in the church meetings I would rather speak five words I understand in
order to teach others than thousands of words in a different language.
20Brothers and sisters, do not think like children. In evil things be like babies,
but in your thinking you should be like adults. 21It is written in the Scriptures:
“With people who use strange words and foreign languages
I will speak to these people.
But even then they will not listen to me,”
says the Lord.
22So the gift of speaking in different kinds of languages is a proof for those
who do not believe, not for those who do believe. And prophecy is for people
who believe, not for those who do not believe. 23Suppose the whole church meets
together and everyone speaks in different languages. If some people come in who
do not understand or do not believe, they will say you are crazy. 24But suppose
everyone is prophesying and some people come in who do not believe or do not
understand. If everyone is prophesying, their sin will be shown to them, and they
will be judged by all that they hear. 25The secret things in their hearts will be
made known. So they will bow down and worship God saying, “Truly, God is
Meetings Should Help the Church
26So, brothers and sisters, what should you do? When you meet together, one
person has a song, and another has a teaching. Another has a new truth from God.
Another speaks in a different language, and another person interprets that
language. The purpose of all these things should be to help the church grow
strong. 27When you meet together, if anyone speaks in a different language, it
should be only two, or not more than three, who speak. They should speak one
after the other, and someone else should interpret. 28But if there is no interpreter,
then those who speak in a different language should be quiet in the church
meeting. They should speak only to themselves and to God.
29Only two or three prophets should speak, and the others should judge what
they say. 30If a message from God comes to another person who is sitting, the
first speaker should stop. 31You can all prophesy one after the other. In this way
all the people can be taught and encouraged. 32The spirits of prophets are under
the control of the prophets themselves. 33God is not a God of confusion but a God
As is true in all the churches of God’s people, 34women should keep quiet in
the church meetings. They are not allowed to speak, but they must yield to this
rule as the law says. 35If they want to learn something, they should ask their own
husbands at home. It is shameful for a woman to speak in the church meeting.
36Did God’s teaching come from you? Or are you the only ones to whom it has
37Those who think they are prophets or spiritual persons should understand
that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 38Those who ignore this
will be ignored by God.
39So my brothers and sisters, you should truly want to prophesy. But do not
stop people from using the gift of speaking in different kinds of languages. 40But
let everything be done in a right and orderly way.
The Holy Bible, New Century Version
The Corinthian Believers were so impressed by the glitz and wonder of spiritual gifts that they lost their perspective and forgot the purpose of these gifts.
Spiritual gifts glorify God and build up the Body of Christ. Gifts should never be misused, envied, or cause division.
The mark of Spirit-filled men and women is the fruit they bear. Fruit is the standard by which our walk with God can be measured. The Bible is crystal clear at this point. Yet it never ceases to amaze me how prone believers are to substitute other measuring devices or standards....
The two most popular substitutes for fruit are (l) spiritual gifts and (2) natural talent....
It's not hard to figure out why gifts and talents are so readily substituted for fruit. It's easier to exercise a gift than to walk in the Spirit. Not only that, certain gifts and talents have a high entertainment value. When exploited in the right way, gifts and talents can be real crowd pleasers.... But none of these things are indications that a man or woman is under the control of the Holy Spirit....
Giftedness does not determine greatness in God's book. Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits." Not by how anointed they may appear to be. Not by the miracles they perform. Not by the revelation knowledge they claim to have. You will recognize God's hand of blessing on men and women by the fruit they bear. A man who claims to be doing miracles by the power of the Spirit but who exhibits no fruit of the Spirit in his life is either lying or confused.... (From The Wonderful Spirit-Filled Life by Charles Stanley)
What is your priority: becoming like Christ or getting a chance to use your gifts? Your gifts, talents, and abilities should build up other Believers and bring unity in the church. If they're not quite doing that, check your attitudes.
Spiritual Gifts and Unity-Romans 12:3-8; 14:19; 15:1-6; 2 Corinthians 12:19-20; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 4:3-7, 11-16.